Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tips from Dr. Greene and a BornFree Giveaway for World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from August 1-7 each year. To kick off this year’s celebration, we have some breastfeeding tips from Dr. Alan Greene, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, an Attending Pediatrician at Packard Children's Hospital, and a Senior Fellow at the University California San Francisco Center for the Health Professions. Dr. Greene is the author of Raising Baby Green, From First Kicks to First Steps, The Parent’s Complete Guide to Ear Infections, and a co-author of The A.D.A.M. Illustrated Family Health Guide. His latest book, Feeding Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy, Childhood, and Beyond, hit shelves this past winter.

Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts you can give your baby. Here are five tips for making it as easy as possible:

1. Be Good to Yourself -- The frequency of feeds varies as your baby grows. Early on, feeding may be very frequent. Later, your baby may not need to feed as often. But no matter the frequency, it can take a lot of moms’ time and energy. While breastfeeding, be especially good to yourself and realize that during this window in time, the most important thing you are doing is caring for your baby. Everything else can wait.

2. Drink Lots of Water -- This helps you make the amount of milk your baby needs. Before sitting down to feed your baby, fill a large glass or stainless steel canteen with water so you can drink while your baby drinks.

3. Treat Yourself to a Nutritious Diet
-- I recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins while nursing and being sure to eat healthy amounts of real food -- this is great for mom and baby. As an added bonus, the flavors mom eats come through breastmilk as a wonderful way to introduce baby to a rich variety of tastes.

4. Take Advantage of Your Hormones -- Every time you nurse, hormones are generated that make you drowsy after nursing, so take a nap when the baby naps. You are not being lazy. You are taking care of yourself so you can take care of your baby.

5. You’re Not Alone
-- If you have trouble nursing, call an expert for help. A Certified Lactation Consultant is an invaluable resource. You might also want to connect with a La Leche League volunteer or an experienced family member or friend. Getting the encouragement you need could make a world of difference.

BornFree’s Breastfeeding Week Giveaway

MANDATORY ENTRY: BornFree asks moms to tell how you transitioned from breast to bottle. Please leave your comment after this post, and BornFree will select a winner at random to receive a BornFree bottle.

Bonus Entries (after fulfilling the mandatory entry above): You may tweet this giveaway up to 3x a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Sunday, August 7, 2011, at 11:59 PM ET. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: The Knapps!




DISCLOSURE: No products or compensation were provided for this post. The Amazon affiliate links are linked to my account.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Winners for the Week of July 24, 2011

Hard to believe that we’re heading into August! The summer is really flying by. Just a reminder that I’ve started a new Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! CLICK HERE to enter your giveaways into the linky and to find other great contests to enter. And don't forget to check out my CURRENT GIVEAWAYS list on the right sidebar. Now, on to this week’s winners…

$50 IHOP GIFT CARD


Congratulations to the winners: Lois S and psnyder!

SOPHIE THE AWESOME & SOPHIE THE SNOOP, BY LARA BERGEN


Congratulations to the winner: Anonymous (theyyyguy@yahoo.com).

ALL TERRAIN PHINEAS AND FERB SPF 30 NATURAL KIDSPORT SPRAY SUNSCREEN


Congratulations to the winner: s!

THE WILD ADVENTURES OF ELI JOHNSON & CURLY BILL


Congratulations to the winner: Shelly!

COMMEMORATIVE SPARKLING GRAPE JUICE FROM RW KNUDSEN FAMILY


Congratulations to the winners: Raven In A Blue Room, gnwg, Free & Frugal, Baby Mama, SweeTidbits, Anonymous (the.inbox(at)yahoo.com), Heather, Jennifer T., Brenda, sweetpea08, Gina, and Breanne!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Super Saturday Giveaway Linky (July 30, 2011)

Welcome to my very first Super Saturday Giveaway Linky! Every Friday evening (if I remember!), I’ll post a linky that allows you to get the word out about all of your terrific giveaways. While you’re here, I hope you’ll check my right sidebar to find my CURRENT GIVEAWAYS. And don’t forget to tweet and notify your Facebook followers after you add your links to help spread the word! If you’re just visiting, I hope you’ll visit all of the blogs on this list for the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes!



Protect Your Swimsuit with a Kooli!

Don’t you hate it when your swimsuit gets those little snags all over your bottom? Swimsuits can be expensive, so when they get ruined or unsightly from sitting on the edge of the pool, that’s definitely not cool. Now there’s an easy solution to that problem: Kooli! Made of Neoprene (a lightweight, flexible material that’s used to make wetsuits), this round mat has a soft and comfy nylon surface. It is washable, waterproof and slip-proof, and resistant to chlorine, sand, and other abrasive things.

I love the red and black Kooli I received for review. The black side goes great with most of my swimsuits (black is more slimming, you know!), but red is my favorite color, so I can use either side. And it has an elastic loop sewn on it so you can roll up the Kooli and easily slip it into your beach bag. Not only can I take it to the pool, but it’s also handy at the beach because it keeps me from getting burned on the hot sand.

Koolis retail for $14.95, and you also get the following deals!

Buy 1 Kooli, get free shipping and handling.
Buy 2 Koolis, get 1 Kooli free.
Buy 3 Koolis, get 1 Kooli free, plus free shipping and handling.

The Kooli is a very clever and portable item to take to the pool, the beach, or the park. It’s a “must-have” for summer! You can find Kooli through the links below.

LINKS

Kooli website: www.kooli.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/KooliPoolside
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/koolipoolside



DISCLOSURE: A product sample was provided to facilitate my candid review. No financial compensation was provided.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: Great Wines Under $20, by Elyse Luray

Great Wines Under $20: Be the Toast of the Party Without Breaking the Bank
We have what you might call a “wine superstore” near our house, and the place is overwhelming! There are so many different kinds of wine that I don’t even know where to begin to get a decent bottle of wine at a reasonable price. But I recently came across a book that’s going to make that task so much easier!

It’s called Great Wines Under $20: An Insider’s Guide to Over 200 Noteworthy and Affordable Wines, by Elyse Luray. She’s a former Christie’s auctioneer and a host on “History Detective.” Not only does the book recommend delicious wines under $20, but it’s filled with lots of extras, such as affordable wine gifts, food pairings, wine-growing regions, directions on chilling (or not), how to read a label, and more. There’s even a listing of Winery Contacts in case you want to visit a winery! A helpful glossary defines wine-related terms, such as “breathing” and “decanting.”

The next time I plan a trip to our wine superstore, I’m going to consult Great Wines Under $20 first! That way, I know I’ll walk out of the store with a high-quality wine at a price I can afford. This book is well worth the purchase thanks to all the money I’ll save!



DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was provided. The Amazon links in this post are linked to my affiliate account.

Would You Like Free FRESCHETTA By The Slice Pizza?

I’m pleased to announce that FRESCHETTA® will be giving away 1000s of slices of their delicious By The Slice pizza in a special live online event! On Thursday, August 4, 2011, FRESCHETTA® By The Slice pizza will be given away in 5,000 increments every half-hour. There will also be fun, interactive contests where you can win additional coupons.

To be sure that you don’t miss out on this exciting event, visit www.FreeFreschetta.com and sign up for a reminder email. You can also view a preview of the events to come with host Mike Rylander. On August 4, the reminder email will be sent to those who signed up, and the event will be live at 11 AM on this day for all to sign up. Good luck!

Event Details:

Date: August 4, 2011 at 11:00 AM

What: Free FRESCHETTA® By The Slice Pizza Event

Where: From the Comfort of Your Own Home at www.FreeFreschetta.com



DISCLOSURE: I will be entered into a drawing for prizes as a thank-you for sharing this information.

Meet the New Design-A-Friends at Teddy Bears Personalized! (Giveaway)

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know by now that I’m a HUGE fan of Teddy Bears Personalized. Their personalized plush animals are of premium quality, their prices are reasonable, and they are awesome to work with. So, I was thrilled to learn that they have a new line of animals called Design-A-Friends! These large 16” animals are bigger than their Design-A-Bears and Budget Bears, and still include your own personalized message or name on the hoodie or tee, along with a gift card. I requested “Patches the Cat” for review, and you can see that he’s definitely bigger than the other animals we love from Teddy Bears Personalized.


Here’s a close-up of our new cat:


As you can see, my son loves him!


The cat is wearing cute denim jeans with real pockets and a hole in the back for his tail to stick out! On his hoodie is embroidered “Jack,” the name of one of our real cats. I love the “ears” on the hoodie! They come in both pink and blue. You can also get shorts, tees and even scrubs for your Design-A-Friend. Besides Patches the Cat, the animals include: Honey Bear, Moochy the Monkey, Pookie Panda, Louie the Leopard, Inky the Bear, Thumper the Bunny, and Snowy the Polar Bear. Check out this beautiful Honey Bear with a blue hoodie, shorts and sunglasses!


The personalized animals at Teddy Bears Personalized make fantastic gifts. Imagine the look on your loved ones’ face when they see their name or a special message on a beautiful plush toy! They’ll know that you put a lot of thought into finding something very special for them. Please visit Teddy Bears Personalized today, and don’t forget to check out the new Design-A-Friends!

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a Design-A-Friend of his or her choice! (You also get to pick the embroidery and clothes.) To enter, CLICK HERE to check out the new Design-A-Friends from Teddy Bears Personalized. Then leave a comment on this post with the name of your favorite one! You must do this to enter the giveaway.

You can earn optional, additional entries if you: (leave a separate comment for each)

- Visit www.teddybearspersonalized.com and click on the +1 Button on the upper left side of the site. Leave a comment saying you did so! (1 entry)

- Follow @customteddybear and @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. You may tweet up to 3x a day. (Please space them at least an hour apart.) Leave a separate comment with the URL of each tweet. (1 entry per tweet)

- Like Teddy Bears Personalized on Facebook. I’m sure they’d love a nice comment on their wall! (1 entry)

- Like Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook and/or follow on Networked Blogs. (1 entry for each)

- Subscribe to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS, Google Friend Connect and/or Kindle (see sign-up options on sidebars). Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 4 entries)

- Place a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog and/or a text link on your blog roll. Post a comment with your blog’s URL. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

- Post this giveaway on your blog with a link to this page and Teddy Bears Personalized. Leave a comment with a direct link to the post. (3 entries; leave a separate comment for each)

One winner will be randomly selected from the qualified comments received by Thursday, August 11, 2011, at 11:59 PM ET. Please leave an email address on one of your comments if it’s not available on your Blogger profile. Winner must respond within 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Contest is open to US and Canadian residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: Khrys { Mom of 3 Dolls }!




DISCLOSURE: I received a product sample to facilitate my candid review. No financial compensation was provided.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to Find Frigidaire Accessories and Other Handy Home Items

If you’ve got Frigidaire appliances, you’ll definitely want to check out Frigidaire’s Accessories division at http://frigidaire.stores.yahoo.net/. They have all kinds of products for your Frigidaire appliances, including filters, cleaners, touch-up paint, organizers, repair kits, and much more! If you have a Frigidaire refrigerator, washer, dryer, air conditioner, grill or other Frigidaire product, you’ll find the accessories you need at this site.

They even have items for people who aren’t shopping for Frigidaire accessories, such as this great Ultimate Griddle…


Glisten Dishwasher Cleaner…


And these Epicurian Cutting Boards!


My family received a set of these cutting boards, and we’re very pleased with them! They’re made of a material called Richlight®, which is a wood composite laminate. It’s temperature-resistant, maintenance-free, and dishwasher-safe. I like that they come in three different sizes so I only need to bring out the size I need.

They even have some delicious recipes, like Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Shrimp Risotto, and Easy Mushroom & Arugula Pizza. If you have one or more Frigidaire appliances, are looking for some unique gift ideas, or even want to find some yummy recipes, head on over to http://frigidaire.stores.yahoo.net/.



DISCLOSURE: I received a product sample for this review. No financial compensation was provided.

Pocoyo Teams Up with Langers Juice, Plus Enter This Giveaway for a Dance Pocoyo Dance! DVD (Rafflecopter)

Pocoyo, star of the multi-award-winning animated television series on Nick Jr., has teamed up with Langers Juice for a fun summer promotion! Beginning August 1 through August 31, parents can receive an all-new Pocoyo DVD -- Dance Pocoyo Dance! -- with the purchase of 10 Langers Juices (plus $1.99 shipping and handling), while supplies last.

The Dance Pocoyo Dance! DVD, based on the Pocoyo animated television series, encourages kids to get up and dance, jump and have fun for hours. The music provides high-energy participation, and Pocoyo and his animal friends -- Elly the elephant, Pato the duck, and Loula the dog -- add to the excitement. It’s a good workout for Mom and Dad, too. Kids can quench their thirst with Langers Juice after dancing with Pocoyo while watching Dance Pocoyo Dance!

Langers Juice, in kid-friendly juice flavors like orange, red grape, white grape, grape with vitamin C, and pineapple, is available nationwide at many major retailers. And as the temperatures soar, Moms and their kids can use Langers Juice to create their own healthy and refreshing fruit juice popsicles! Simply pour 4 oz of juice into a paper cup and pop it into the freezer. When the juice freezes, kids can eat the frozen treat with a spoon, or simply lick the cold concoction, peeling back the paper cup as needed.

I hope you’ll join Pocoyo in enjoying Langers Juice this summer, especially while you and your kids are watching Pocoyo on Nick Jr.! There’s also lots of FREE Pocoyo content available on the Pocoyo YouTube channel and plenty of fun and games in Pocoyo World!

LINKS

Pocoyo Websites: www.pocoyo.com and www.pocoyoworld.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pocoyo
YouTube: www.youtube.com/pocoyo
Twitter: www.twitter.com/pocoyo_us
NCircle Entertainment: www.ncircleentertainment.com

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive the Dance Pocoyo Dance! DVD! Please enter on the Rafflecopter form below. Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on August 10, 2011. Winners will be notified by email.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: Ronalee!







DISCLOSURE: No products or financial compensation were provided for this post.

Looking for Stories by Family Caregivers for New Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

Chicken Soup for the Soul is working with Joan Lunden on the upcoming book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers, which will be published in March 2012. Joan is very passionate about this topic as she is the family member in charge of her mother’s care.

Caring for a family member on an on-going basis is a very difficult task, whether the care is in your home, the patient’s home, or an outside facility. It requires the caregiver to be patient, kind, compassionate and giving. And having a little humor doesn’t hurt!

Are you caring for a child, spouse, partner, or sibling due to a chronic illness or long-term or permanent physical or mental disabilities? Did you move in with a family member to care for him or her due to age-related illness? Are you part of the “sandwich” generation -caring for a parent and a child at the same time?

Or are you the person receiving care from a family member? Your stories are important too.

(Please know that we are in awe of professional caregivers, but we are only seeking stories about family members caring for family members for this book.)

The true stories in this book will show how lives change when caregiving becomes your responsibility. They will describe how the relationship between loved ones is affected when long-term care is needed. They will point out ways in which laughter or a silver lining can be found during a difficult time. And they will inspire and support family members who are making sacrifices to make sure their loved ones are well cared for.

Please do not submit eulogies or biographies of your loved one. We want to hear about the caregiving relationship, either from the point of view of the caregiver or from the point of view of the person being cared for.

If your story is chosen, you will be a published author and your bio will be printed in the book if you so choose. You will also receive a check for $200 and 10 free copies of your book, worth more than $100. You will retain the copyright for your story and you will retain the right to resell it.

Please remember, we do not like “as told to” stories. Please write in the first person about yourself or someone close to you. Do not ghost write a story for someone else. If a story was previously published, we will probably not use it unless it ran in a small circulation venue. Let us know where the story was previously published in the “Comments” section of the submission form.

SUBMISSIONS GO TO http://chickensoup.com
Select the Submit Your Story link on the left tool bar and follow the directions.

The deadline date for story submissions is August 31, 2011.

TracFone: No Contracts, No Hidden Fees, No Hassles!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of TracFone for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My oldest son, age 21, is not what I would call a “yacker.” He’s conversational in person, but he’s never been the kind of person to spend hours on his phone or send continuous text messages. That’s why he’s always been extremely satisfied with his TracFone cell phone. For someone like him, we believe that TracFone offers the least expensive way for him to own and use a cell phone.

When he initially signed up for TracFone, he discovered that there are no contracts, no credit checks, no activation charges or cancellation fees. Many of the pay-as-you-go plans we researched charged a daily fee. At a dollar a day, that was automatically $30 a month, and that was just for turning on the phone. Minutes were extra. That’s not the case with TracFone. You’re only charged when you’re actually using the phone. And when you need to add minutes to your phone, it’s easy to do online or through cards you can purchase at thousands of stores across the country.

My son saves even more money when he purchases a one-year service card. With this card, you receive double minutes for the life of your TracFone, plus 800 minutes, for only $119! This “Double minutes for the life of your phone” feature can also be purchased separately for only $19.99, and some of the phones available from TracFone even include it! But if you’re cash-poor, you also have the option of choosing monthly plans with 200 minutes for under $30, and as low as $9.99 for 50 minutes.

There are all kinds of phones available from TracFone. Choose from simple “Candy Bar” phones to Bluetooth®-enabled “Smart” phones. They have brand name phones from leading manufacturers like Motorola, Kyocera, LG, Nokia and Samsung. Check out this video to see some of the terrific features available on a Samsung phone available from TracFone.

[Email subscribers, please click on the title of this post to view this video online.]

And all of their phones provide great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity. I have never heard my son complain about dropped calls or problems with his reception.

If you need an International Long Distance plan, TracFone has that covered, too. They are the only wireless service where you can call internationally for the same price as any other call. Call over 60 international destinations directly from your TracFone at no extra cost! And with the International Neighbors program, you can provide family and friends in Mexico or Canada a local phone number in those countries to reach you at your TracFone in the U.S.

For more information on convenience, reliability and coverage, check out this video featuring real TracFone customers! (Here’s another great video of real TracFone customers.) If you’re in the market for an inexpensive and reliable cell phone that only charges you for the actual minutes you use, I recommend TracFone. My son is a satisfied customer!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Have Fun Outdoors This Summer with the Z-Curve Bow and Zing-Shot Launcher from ZING Toys!

My boys are always looking for something fun to do outdoors, and they love their new Z-Curve Bow and Zing-Shot Launcher from ZING Toys! They’ve been having so much fun with these toys in the yard.

The Z-Curve Bow lets kids practice their archery skills or pretend they’re Robin Hood! You just hook the foam arrows in the easy loop system, then aim and fire! My boys have been playing target practice with their bow and arrows. As you can see, though, they still need some work on their aim!


The Zing-Shot Launcher is also a lot of fun. The Red-X ammo soft-foam balls can fly up to 45 feet! I love the easy Quik-Zip load system that ensures the balls go in the right way and are ready for launch! With a little practice, my boys have been able to send the balls flying across the lawn!

The Z-Curve Bow and Zing-Shot Launcher from ZING Toys are safe, fun, and inexpensive. The bow sells for $19.99 and the launcher is only $9.99 at stores like Amazon, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Fred Meyer, Target, and Toys “R” Us. These toys are great summer fun for kids -- and adults, too!




DISCLOSURE: Product samples were provided for this review. No financial compensation was received.

Back to School Gift Guide: Lovable Labels (Giveaway)

The kids will be heading back to school soon, but before they go it’s essential that you label their belongings. Backpacks, lunch bags, jackets, shoes, books, folders and much more all need a label! Fortunately, you can find everything you need at Lovable Labels. All of their labels are waterproof, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, UV resistant, and personalizable! They also carry bag tags and medical wristbands. Check out some of the terrific products on their site:


I was given the opportunity to get a sample of their Book Worm labels for my children’s books. Lovable Labels even put both my boys’ names on the label. Aren’t they adorable?


Lovable Labels has so many color and design options! And you can save money by purchasing combo packs! If you’ve got a child (or more) heading off to school soon, now’s the time to visit Lovable Labels. Their products are durable, unique, and a necessity for your back-to-school shopping list!

LINKS

Lovable Labels website: www.lovablelabels.ca
Blog: www.lovablelabelsblog.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lovablelabels.officialfanpage
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mylovablelabels

GIVEAWAY

Lovable Labels has generously supplied a “Book Worm Label Pack” for one lucky winner! Thanks, Lovable Labels!

To Enter: Go to the Lovable Labels website and look at all of their terrific products. Then leave a comment on this post (one per day only, please) sharing which one of their amazing products is your favorite! Once you’ve entered by leaving a comment, you can gain additional entries when you:

- Follow @mylovablelabels and @ParentingAuthor on Twitter and tweet “WIN Book Worm Label Pack from @mylovablelabels @ParentingAuthor http://tinyurl.com/3jy53sa” Leave the link in the comments section for extra daily entries. (You may tweet up to 3x a day at least an hour apart.)

- “Like” Lovable Labels on Facebook for one extra entry and leave a comment with your Facebook name.

- Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave the link as a comment for one extra entry.

- Like Susan Heim on Parenting on Facebook and/or follow on Networked Blogs. (1 entry for each)

- Subscribe to Susan Heim on Parenting via email, RSS, and/or Kindle. Leave a comment for each subscription method. (1 entry for each subscription method for up to 3 entries)

- Place a button for Susan Heim on Parenting on your blog and/or a text link on your blog roll. Post a comment with your blog’s URL. (1 entry for button; 1 entry for text link)

- Enter another current giveaway on Susan Heim on Parenting. (1 entry per giveaway entered)

This giveaway ends just in time for the little book worm in your family at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, August 9, 2011. The winner will be selected by random draw and will have 7 days to respond to our notification email before another winner is selected. This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents only.

CONTEST CLOSED. Congratulations to the winner: Shelly!



DISCLOSURE: The product in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.